Google Analytics can tell you much about your website and website visitors, but not everything. Make sure that your website design does not eschew these analytics by throwing a spanner in the works. Below are three examples of common website elements that do not gel well with Google Analytics.

1.    Outbound Links
SEO practices can welcome outbound links as they link to more quality content (albeit elsewhere). Google Analytics however lose their function once your website visitor clicks one of these links and leaves your website. Therefore if conversions occur outside of your website (i.e. an outbound link brings a visitor to sign-up to your mailing list); Analytics cannot detect this conversion. In this way, conversion tracking (a huge feature of Google Analytics) is null and void on your website.

2.    Pop-ups
Pop-ups and lightboxes exist in a limbo of sorts. They are not pages or even blog posts, but moreso graphics that can be interacted with. Because of this, they do not have their own unique URLs. Due to this, Analytics cannot measure how many hits these pop-ups and lightboxes receive. As this is absent from the main Analytics dashboard, you instead need to rely on in-page Analytics to gauge the interaction rates of these elements. If you are looking to track and analyse particular information, it would be recommended to not house this within pop-ups of lightboxes for this reason.

3.    Animation/Moving Features
Quite like pop-ups and lightboxes in that they have no URLs, animation and moving features are difficult to keep track of too because this. This is because they both move (physically around your website and on your webpages) and also change shape, form and function etc. as they continually animate. An example of a website animation would be of a person or avatar who guides visitors around your website. Due to this added moving aspect, even website heat maps would have problems in straightforwardly analysing the elements of website animation.

We hope you can now understand how some elements of your website design can have a negative and counterproductive effect on Google Analytics. Talk to your website designer about how to implement design features that are both effective at getting what you want and also work well with Google Analytics to let you know what your visitors are responding to.